A now-closed law group is the subject of a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleging it unfairly charged its clients upfront for mortgage assistance relief services.

Melvin Baity filed the lawsuit against The Hoffman Law Group, claiming the business would require a $6,000 fee prior to having clients execute any type of agreement with the loan provider. Baity claims this is a violation of Florida state law, and believes Hoffman was deceptive and unfair in its business practices. Hoffman advertised itself as being able to obtain “favorable results” for clients faced with mortgage foreclosure actions, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit further claims none of the attorneys working at Hoffman were licensed to practice law in the areas where some of its clients' homes were located. Baity claims there are hundreds of clients who were forced to pay the $6,000 upfront fee by Hoffman even though it violated state law.

The Hoffman Law Group closed in Florida on July 16, 2014, the lawsuit said.

The plaintiff is seeking class status, and asking for more than $5 million in damages plus court costs. He is represented by Paul B. Thanasides of McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito P.A. in Tampa, Florida. The United States District Court Southern District of Florida case number is 9:15-cv-80489.

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